How to obtain Spanish residency through a company

Spain is a country that has in recent years encouraged entrepreneurs and non-resident remote workers to relocate to Spain and compete globally, and obtain a Spanish residency. A forthcoming law is meant to be highly favorable for entrepreneurs and start-ups and to attract foreign investments. The focus of this new law is on companies that are involved in industry, tourism and culture, mobility, health, construction and materials, energy and ecological transition, banking and finance, digitalization and telecommunications, agriculture and food, and biotechnology.

Spain presently has two cities, Madrid and Barcelona, that are ideal for entrepreneurs and hopes to increase growth in startup investments, attract and retain foreign talent, inject innovation into the public sector so it can bolster and support Spain’s digital development.

Investors, entrepreneurs, highly-skilled professionals, researchers, and workers performing inter-company business may apply for residency visas. Spouses and children below 18 years old or elderly parents dependent on the applicant are included.

Visa for entrepreneurs

The entrepreneur visa or startup visa is a newly created visa that will allow the applicant to live in Spain during a two-year period provided that you have a startup project that is innovative and aligned with the industries particularly significant to Spain like green energy, the atmosphere, water and water treatment, health sciences, biotechnology, and aeronautics and aerospace, and can provide employment for Spaniards.

Once this visa has been granted and you have either started a business or made a capital investment in a startup, you may now apply for a Golden Visa which will grant the applicant permanent residency in five years. The entrepreneurial investment must be at least one million euros and can be any of the following types:

  • Opening a business or starting an entrepreneurial project that is aligned with the significant industries
  • Highly qualified professional individuals who are experts or highly qualified in the significant industries
  • For those who engage in research or educational activities

No matter the amount of investment, it must be maintained in Spain for a minimum of five years.  After the five years period is over, the applicant will obtain permanent residency in Spain and after ten years can apply for Spanish citizenship.

Advantages of the entrepreneur visa

  • no initial investment required
  • equivalent to a work permit without the complex requirements of a regular work visa
  • solely-run businesses are allowed and visa is renewable
  • free movement within Schengen visa
  • in person application not necessary
  • applicant can include his family, spouse, children below 18 years old, parents, in his application

Benefits of the entrepreneur visa

  • Attract talent and foreign investment
  • Good logistics and infrastructure
  • Large and diverse market
  • People, food, culture and climate

Self-employed visa or freelance visa

The self-employed visa or freelance visa is a residence permit that allows non-EU citizens to live and work in Spain for one year as a resident. This work permit visa also allows the holder to include family members who are still dependent on the holder.

How to start a business in Spain

  1. The applicant must first submit a Business Idea or Plan to the UGE or the Unidad de Grandes Empresas in Madrid. It has three important requirements:
    • Product or Service must be Innovative. Is product or service proposed is new and different from what already exists in the market? Is it technology driven?
    • Product or Service must be of special economic interest for Spain. Can the business generate wealth for the country? Will it employ workers in the future?
    • Product or Service must attract Investment Opportunities for Spain. Will the product or service attract new investors and investments to the country?
  1. The applicant must submit a Professional Profile

The applicant must demonstrate that he has sufficient training and qualifications to develop the business idea or plan successfully. The applicant’s educational achievement and professional experience are equally important to be able to show this.

  1. The applicant must explain the motivation to start the business. It is also important that the motivation to start the business in Spain must be clear and convincing and that the applicant is committed, for at least two years, to the success of the business.

Application Procedure

  • Applicant can initiate the process for country of origin by submitting all the necessary documents to the Spanish consulate or apply for the entrepreneur’s visa while already in Spain on a tourist visa.
  • The application process is 20 days.
  • Upon receiving a favorable response, the applicant must make an appointment at the Spanish immigration office to register his fingerprints.
  • Lastly, applicant must pick up the TIE or biometric physical residence card and provide his passport, ID photos and empadronamiento or census certificate.

Types of Companies

Sole Proprietorship

This is the best option for small businesses as it does not require an initial investment.

Limited Liability Company (SL)

This is the most popular business structure and requires only €3,000 as minimum capital investment.


This is the best option for large companies that trade in shares.  A minimum capital investment of €60,000 is required.